Remembering Jim Gray

On May 31, 2008 more than 1,000 computer scientists gathered in UC Berkeley to pay homage to Jim Gray, an astonishing computer scientist.

Rarely there was a person who was respected by so many.

Undoubtedly, he is the father of transaction processing; but for his seminal work that brought speed and efficiency (cost reduction of 100+ times), e-commerce would not have been possible today. He also played a key role in the design of Non-Stop SQL for Tandem computers. He is a Turing Award winner.

Till 2007, he was with Microsoft Research; the “world telescope” project was his brainchild where he combined his mastery of managing very large databases with the enormous data generated by giant telescopes.

In an unfortunate accident, he was “missing” from his sailboat journey in January 2007; in a rare display of cooperation across communities, there was a massive effort to search him using a variety of techniques & technologies, though in vain.

UC Berkeley has such illustrious alumni

I had the fortune of spending time with him when I was in Microsoft HQ in 2003 & 2005.

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